03.10.2019The StreetAbility project

Committee for Melbourne’s Future Focus Group’s StreetAbility is an initiative that aims to improve social inclusion for autistic people within Preston Central.

The initiative encourages local services and businesses – with the support of Darebin City Council and Amaze – to adapt their environment to make it autism-friendly.

Each location is assessed and provided with recommendations on how to make their site accessible. When the recommendations are adopted the business or service can display the autism-friendly symbol.

Currently, 10 businesses and services in Preston Central have undertaken the assessment and made minor adaptions to become autism-friendly.

The project intends to expand to include more businesses and services, making Preston Central and Darebin City Council one of the first autism-friendly communities in metropolitan Melbourne.

Autism-friendly symbol

The autism-friendly symbol is displayed by participating businesses and services that are considered suitable for people with autism.

Locations that display the autism-friendly symbol have undergone an environmental assessment conducted by Amaze – the peak advocacy body for people with autism in Victoria.

An environmental assessment looks at the physical environment to ensure that it is suitable for the autism community. It identifies the social, structural and sensory experiences that autistic people may find challenging. An assessor from Amaze and an autistic consultant attend each service or business to understand what a typical experience would be like for an autistic individual.

Each business or service is given practical recommendations to make their location more accessible. When at least 50% of the recommendations are adopted the business or service can display the autism-friendly symbol.

See where to find StreetAbility services and businesses here.

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